November 14, 1916

John Joseph Houghtaling was born on this day in Kansas City. He invented the Magic Fingers Vibrating Bed, a common feature in mid-priced hotels and motels from the 1960s to 1970s. “Hey, gotta quarter?”

This post was contributed by Ross Malone. A historian and a retired school teacher, Ross has authored many books about Missouri’s history, weird facts, and folk tales. He has also written children’s historical fiction. Visit his website, and buy his books in the Missouri Life store.

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November 5, 1931

On this day, forty shots were fired in the Elms Hotel lobby and veranda in a robbery gone bad. The Excelsior Springs police shotgun squad chased the robbers from the hotel to Kansas City where they were caught, tried, and convicted. You can still visit the Elms today. 

November 4, 1916

News anchorman Walter Cronkite was born in  St. Joseph. He grew up in Kansas City until he was ten until he moved to Texas. You can learn more about his life here or by visiting the Walter Cronkite Memorial in St. Joseph. 

August 14, 1936

It might have been a good idea to sleep on the porch or in the park. On this day the temperature in Kansas City was 113 degrees.

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